Understanding Federal Regulations

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) are used by all federal agencies when they purchase supplies or services, and you will find them in every solicitation document.

Some regulations may be printed in full, while others are simply mentioned. (Clauses Incorporated in Full, or Reference).  Even if a regulation is only referenced, it has the same legal weight as if it was printed in full.

It’s your responsibility to read and understand the regulations.  You’ll find many that appear over and over, and a number that refer to standard business practices such as Equal Opportunity, Child Labor Laws and so on.

Not all the regulations listed in a solicitation document pertain to that particular bid. You may see a list of regulations, but only those marked with an X are applicable to that bid.

The regulations are divided into 52 sub-sections, each dealing with a specific aspect of federal acquisition law – for example, part 12 deals with the acquisition of commercial items, and part 19 deals with set-aside programs (woman, 8(a),veteran and so on)

 Each agency can also issue its own supplements, for example the DoD’s Supplemental Regulations, known as DFARS

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